Quebec City Chasing Arena Dreams

The provincial government of Quebec is turning up the heat on the Canadian federal government to contribute an estimated $175 million for a new arena in Quebec City.

The city lost the National Hockey League’s Quebec Nordiques in 1995 and has been itching to build a venue for years that could draw a new team.

The province has already pledged to contribute close to $175 million toward an arena and the city will reportedly pay $50 million.

Quebec Premier Jean Charest explained during a news conference that feasibility studies have found that a publicly financed, 18,000-seat arena could be profitable in the region.

“It’s just not normal that a city this size not have a modern amphitheatre,” he said according to the Montreal Gazette. “It can make money and be viable so let’s get on with it.”

A business plan developed by Ernst & Young noted that with an NHL team, the venue could generate $1.2 million per year in profits. If no team is secured, the firm estimated the arena would see profits of about $1 million annually, the Gazette reported.

Over a 40-year report, those numbers could reportedly rise to $600 million and $500 million, respectively.